Spain/Castilla La Mancha: Toledo Cathedral
The Toledo Cathedral is considered the most beautiful and impressive of the grand gothic cathedral in Spain. Built between 1226 and 1493, it’s truly magnificent with a towering spire standing on one of the highest points in Toledo. It was built on the foundation of a former mosque. Inside – it’s dark with the massive columns racing to the top of the dome and dim light coming through nearly 750 stained-glass windows. I am no cathedral expert, but two things truly stood out – the altar piece in the center and altar piece in one of the sides. The former is a total gold overload over five panels of religious paintings. But the other altarpiece – known as El Transparante – is just mindblowing: there is a skylight in the ceiling for the light to come down on the altar’s tabernacle representing ascent to heaven with hundreds of marble figures, jam-packed with various baby angels. The whole altar is very baroque and looks out of place on the gothic cathedral.